September is National DMV Appreciation Month

Did you know that lives are saved at the DMV every day? It’s true! Donation makes transplants possible, and donation starts with donor registration. The work of DMVs across the country enables more lifesaving transplants to be performed every year.

Vital Partnership

Our DMV partners are on the front lines of service and have helped 170 million people across the country register their decision to be a deceased organ, eye and tissue donor.1 That’s why Donate Life America leads the celebration of National DMV Appreciation Month every September. This observance recognizes the vital role of DMVs and Driver License Partners (DLPs) in saving and healing lives. More than 90% of state donor registrations come through the DMV thanks to their employees asking the donor designation question every day.2

And that’s not all! DMVs do more than ask the donation question; they also create and participate in initiatives to promote donation and uplift the Donate Life mission. Read on for more about the incredible work our DMV and DLP partners are doing and how Donate Life America recognizes their efforts through the DLA DMV Awards.

DLA DMV Awards

DLA accepts nominations for two DMV Award categories:The Innovation Award and the Lifesaver Award.

  • The Innovation Award recognizes a DMV or DLP office that has implemented a unique and engaging event, activity or practice that demonstrates the Donate Life mission as a part of their office culture.
  • The Lifesaver Award recognizes a staff member who demonstrates exceptional commitment to the DMV/DLP’s role as a partner in saving lives through donation and transplantation.

DLA Partnership with AAMVA
DLA has the opportunity to present the DLA DMV Awards and recognize the dedication of DMV staff and offices each year at the regional and national conferences of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), a nonprofit association dedicated to the development of model programs for motor vehicle administration, law enforcement and highway safety.3
2023 DMV Award Winners

This year, Donate Life America has presented DLA DMV Innovation Awards and Lifesaver Awards to seven organizations for their hard work and commitment to organ donation and transplantation. Though there are still two conferences left to be held, we’d like to highlight and celebrate this year’s winners so far to thank them for their dedication to saving and healing lives.

Region 1

Innovation Award Winner: 

Commissioner Mark J.F Schroeder, New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYS DMV)

  • Implemented new initiatives to reach racially and ethnically diverse populations served by DMV offices
  • Helped to add the donor designation question to the motor vehicle registration process and to require DMV staff to verbally ask the question
  • Established the DMV Ambassador Program to encourage staff and volunteers to share their personal stories with DMV employees

Lifesaver Award Winner: Walter Craddock, Rhode Island DMV

  • Collaborated with his governor, legislators, mayors and community on donation-centered events

Region 2

Innovation Award Winner: 

Patricia Bourbeau, South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles 

  • Served as a donation advocate for 11 years and counting
  • Volunteers with her Donate Life State Team
  • Trains new DMV employees across the state

Lifesaver Award Winner: 

Colonel Jonathan Archer, Director of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) and Department of Public Safety

  • Collaborates with Legacy of Hope and ALEA
  • Added donation information to and the Driver License Manual
  • Included donation materials in the state’s main office for distribution

Region 4

Innovation Award Winner: 

Fairpark DMV of Utah Driver License Division

  • Allowed DMV offices to hang a tribute plaque featuring a donor, living donor or recipient from the community
  • Provided donation education through the inclusion of QR codes with tribute plaques

Lifesaver Award Winner: 

Eric Jorgensen, Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (ADOT)

  • Streamlined online donor registration process
  • Allowed quilts portraying 48 donors to be displayed in DMV field offices

With two more AAMVA conferences left in 2023 – AAMVA Annual International Conference (AIC) and Region 3 – Donate Life America is looking forward to recognizing the remaining recipients of the Innovation and Lifesaver Awards for their hard work, innovation and dedication.

Join us during National DMV Appreciation Month in thanking our DMV partners and recognizing their incredible contributions to the Donate Life mission. You can reach out to your local DMV to say thank you or express your gratitude online using free resources from Donate Life America.


1. Donate Life America Registry Overview Reports (ROR), EOY 2022 Report, Donate Life America

2. National Survey of Organ Donation Attitudes and Practices, 2019, Report of Findings, Published February 2020, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Healthcare Systems Bureau, Division of Transplantation

3., Accessed August 29, 2023